Sharon Marie Carnicke | The Stanislavsky Institute for the 21st Century
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The Stanislavsky Institute for the 21st Century


The Institute re-envisions Stanislavsky’s System of actor training as a living legacy that continually adapts the timeless art of acting to the evolving conditions under which today’s actors work. Stanislavsky’s innovative rehearsal technique, Active Analysis—as practiced by his most prominent assistant, Maria Knebel—is the Institute’s cornerstone for this evolving legacy. The technique’s dynamic principles and improvisatory approach foster in actors the independence, spontaneity, and flexibility they need to work across media and in differing aesthetic styles from realism to postdramatic works and beyond.


1) To provide accurate information about Stanislavsky’s life and forward-thinking work through publications, public lectures, and master classes.

  • If you equate Stanislavsky with realism, then know that in 1906 he wrote: “My System begins where realism ends.”
  • If you assume he was tyrannical, know that in 1907 he told the actress Olga Knipper: “I consider it my duty to give you full freedom in the treatment of your role.”
  • If you dismiss him as old-fashioned or patriarchal, know that in 1937 he cast a woman, Irina Rozanova, as Hamlet, telling her: “Hamlet will be your university.”


2) To conduct STUDIOS that advance the principles of Active Analysis for contemporary performance. Recent STUDIOS have…

  • Developed a progressive approach to teaching and learning Active Analysis.
  • Adapted Active Analysis to the audition process and the contemporary profession of acting for stage and screen.
  • Reconstructed Stanislavsky’s directing by staging selected scenes from his original promptbooks.
  • Investigated adaptations of Active Analysis that can be used for postmodern film and postdramatic performance.
  • Explored Active Analysis for dance and choreography.


3) To experiment with Active Analysis in new technologies.

  • Provided acting expertise to the Institute for Creative Technologies at USC (Los Angeles) on projects in Virtual Reality and Intelligent Virtual Agents.
  • Adapted Active Analysis to motion capture technology for a study on emotional expressivity, funded by the National Science Foundation at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.
  • Consulted on a project on acting in Digital Gaming, funded by the National Science Foundation at Northeastern University (Boston).



To advance its Mission The Institute offers in-person and online Studios, Open Houses,

and periodic Round Tables on topics of concern to actors. 


Sharon is an internationally acclaimed expert and master teacher of Active Analysis—a radical rehearsal technique created by Stanislavsky in his last years and named by his protégé, Maria Knebel, whose influence was second only to his. No one else brings such full authority to this technique as does Sharon. Fluent in Russian and experienced as a director and actor, Sharon learned Active Analysis from transcripts of Stanislavsky’s last classes, the writings and teaching of his assistant Maria Knebel, and from others who worked with Stanislavsky and Knebel personally. Sharon founded the Stanislavsky Institute for the 21st Century in order to promote Active Analysis as “a living legacy, because this technique fosters dynamic acting for today’s evolving forms of dramatic storytelling as surely as for the classics.”


To get involved in the Institute, join one of its Studios, or attend its Open Houses or Round Tables,

contact Sharon through this website for periodic email announcements.



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